This Sunday we'll gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. This single truth changes everything: Jesus is alive! That would be significant if he had never died. But it takes on a whole new significance when we realize that he did die.
It's one thing to never die but it's another to die and live again. Jesus died and came back to life.
So, on Easter we'll celebrate him coming back to life. But two days before that, at our Good Friday Service, we'll gather in memorial of his death.
I can't bring myself to say that we "celebrate" the death of Jesus (I spoke to that last fall in my teaching, "Body Broken For You.") but we certainly gather in celebration of what it accomplished. And even if for a moment we gaze uncomfortably at Jesus on the cross, we do it with the comfort of knowing that not only is it empty, but so is the grave that received him from the cross.
But let's not move too quickly through it. There is value in the remembrance part. In fact, as we prepare to "do this in remembrance of him," let's all take time to read again each of the gospel accounts that describe this holy week. I invite you to read one account each day:
Read it to remember the story so that when we all gather in remembrance, the story is near to your heart and familiar in your thinking. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will give you understanding as you honor him in this.
So, this is our observance of holy week.
Each day read one of the gospels.
Then, Friday let's gather in sober reflection, 7pm on site and online.
Finally, Sunday let's gather in joyful celebration, 10AM on site and online.
May the Lord be honored,
Pastor of Sarasota Community Church since 2009.